ISSN 2051-8315
Psychopathology Review
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 Volume 4, Issue 2, 141-154, 2017
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Thoughts on Experimental Psychopathology

  Marcel A. van den Hout - Utrecht University
  Iris M. Engelhard - Utrecht University
  Richard J. McNally - Harvard University

Volume 4, Issue 2, 2017, Pages 141-154


Over the years, Experimental Psychopathology has become a major research discipline. In this article, we sketch some historical roots of Experimental Psychopathology and its current disciplinary context. We also outline the logic behind Experimental Psychopathology and discuss some issues raised in the articles in this special issue, including reductionism in this type of research, the use of analogue samples, and the use of self-report measures. Finally, we describe some future directions to increase our understanding of the causal mechanisms of mental disorders, including the new network modeling approach to psychopathology that fits well with Experimental Psychopathology and the way these approaches may reinforce each other. The field has witnessed the emergence and acceptance of many evidence-based treatments, but the room for clinical improvement is large. Experimental Psychopathology should be one of the disciplines to occupy that space.

Table of Contents
Historical context
Disciplinary context
 Medicine and biological psychiatry
 Experimental psychology
 Learning theory and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Logic of Experimental Psychopathology
Current issues
 Reduction in Experimental Psychopathology
 Research on analogue samples
 Self-reports and 'subjectivity' in Experimental Psychopathology
Future directions
 Therapy issues
 Symptoms as causes
Summarizing remarks

Correspondence to
Marcel A. van den Hout, Clinical Psychology, Utrecht University, PO Box 80140, 3508 TC Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Experimental Psychopathology; reductionism; analogue samples; self-report measures; causality

Received 4 Nov 2015; Revised 20 May 2016; Accepted 20 May 2016; In Press 26 Jun 2016

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